Sunday, January 18, 2009

Take Your Clues From Your Birds and Nature

The Grass is Always Greener - Aviary Envy!

This weekend has been a busy one with Kansas University playing basketball Saturday and attending the Wichita State Shockers basketball game and now its already Sunday and early (7:30 am) church and symphony this afternoon. Bet it sounds just like your busy life! With so much activity, it is so relaxing to just take a moment to care and observe my birds.

Yesterday, I called my bird friend Doyle Johnson. Doyle is an excellent breeder who lives here in Wichita. He reported he was just getting ready to go out and check the canary eggs for fertility! Seems his birds came in early and he had already seen many extra eggs dropped in the flights. Just hearing about his birds laying and the promise of chicks hatching soon is enough to make you wonder if you are getting behind!

As tempting as his birds hatching is, my birds will be ready when they are ready! I must be patient, observe them and take my clues from my birds and Nature. As I gazed out at my backyard thistle feeder, I noticed two male goldfinch. This was the first day I had seen any goldfinch at my feeder but instead of showing off their bright yellow breasts like when they are in breeding condition, they are still a drab green. I also checked the chickweed. To my surprise, it is actually coming up but it is only green leaves and does not have seed heads that my canaries love so much. Our weather too is just hinting of Spring as it occasionally warming up to 60F but then drops down to maybe 8 - 30 F at night. So Spring is still just a promise. We haven't even had any Spring rains or thunder storms yet either.

The most important clues, however, come from your birds! Watching their behavior, listening to the loudness of the cocks song, examining vents, checking the hen's abdomen for condition, brood patch and the important hot temperature, and observing water consumption all tell you in no uncertain terms when your own birds are ready.

Spring is coming but in my own aviary, the birds just are not ready yet! Everything comes at its appointed time!!

Picture is chickweed coming up in my back yard!

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